This is a very common myth; in Montessori, children work but they don’t play. This connotation comes with the word “work,” which usually indicates a chore, something that isn’t considered fun. For many lucky people, they love their work. They look forward to their work day every morning. For others, it can be stressful and time-consuming.
“Work” is different when it comes to Montessori. When a child is given the free choice to choose a task that is considered “work,” they’re more likely to choose one of these tasks versus another task that seems “frivolous.”
The purpose of taking this approach to “work” is to change the connotation associated with tasks like cleaning the table or washing the dishes. These tasks still develop muscles and skills in our body (like writing) and are important for the growth and development of a child. However, allowing the child to make the choice will give them unlimited concentration on the task at hand, according to the Montessori theory.
Maria Montessori once said, “play is the work of the child.”
This method of play promotes an active, alert, but non-stressed frame of mind, encouraging the child to learn. As many “work”-related tasks create stress for individuals, the play in Montessori does the opposite. It allows the child to feel uplifted, creative, and inspired.
Next weekend, consider researching some fun Montessori tasks that you would find in a typical Montessori-based classroom. If it’s possible, incorporate them into your home and your interactions with your child.
We would love to hear about any experience you have bring Montessori teachings into your home – these stories are always encouraging and hopeful! We love when parents are just as involved as you guys! We can’t wait to hear how your “play” changes at home!